Friday, October 29, 2010


We all know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The equation for a straight line is really simple, isn’t it? y = mx + c, where m is the gradient and c is the y-intercept of the straight line.

One peculiarity about this equation, as of every other equation, is that the relational function does not take a direct one-to-one fit in the real world. I must digress, I was thinking along this lines before I heard of the death of the father of fractal geometry, Benoit Mandelbrot, who dedicated his life to searching for beauty in nature through mathematics.

Life would have been a simple beautiful equation if it follows the mathematical equations. Unfortunately, we are left with possibilities and factors and so on and so forth when we encounter the maths in the real world, especially where it comes to human relationships.

Let’s take an example of a family man. If it was easy to give one a family man and then we can interpret him as a good father or not, a good husband or not, then it would have been easy, but not so. Whatever interpretation we give to that man is dependent on whose opinion we are dependent upon. Why? Because he plays several roles in life. And so do all of us.

A family man plays the role of a husband to a woman, father to some children, breadwinner to these and to also other relations who are dependent on him, an employee or employer in a fictitious company, an in-law to an old grandpa and grandma resting their bones somewhere and all these factors have different interpretation of what he is or would have been based on how much relationship he has had with them.

He might be a good father but a bad employee; a lazy fighter but a strong talker; a good in-law but a selfish miser. Because he plays several roles, the maths from the dependent relations to his representation is not that easy. But that is why life is fun!

You think this is just another addictive retreat from the hard knocks of life, don’t you? Wait until you hear opinion on what you represent then you’d understand why the maths is not as simple as that.

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